Lankford Honored as First Senior Living Congressional Hero

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today was named the first Senior Living Congressional Hero by the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) for his work to keep seniors and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lankford has worked to highlight the benefit of senior living communities and ensure they have the resources they need to provide and care for their residents, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19. Lankford joined ASHA during their virtual event.


“I am grateful to be recognized as a Senior Living Congressional Hero, and I will continue to advocate for our nation’s elderly and the communities that assist them,” said Lankford. “For many of us, this year has been the most challenging year of our lifetimes. Despite these challenges, senior living communities and their staffs have served on the frontlines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provide support for the individuals that call them home. I am thankful for ASHA, their members, their advocacy, and their dedication to caring for our nation’s elderly and most vulnerable, especially in such a challenging time.”


“Senator James Lankford has provided critical leadership in Congress on issues of importance to seniors, their families, and the senior living industry during his time in the Senate,” said David Schless, ASHA President. “His diligence in securing our industry’s much-needed access to the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund underscores his appreciation for the front line position our communities hold in keeping seniors and employees safe during these challenging times. He motivated his Senate colleagues to support his efforts in a bipartisan letter to HHS Secretary Azar calling attention to the extraordinary work by the senior living industry in caring for nearly two million seniors and one million employees. This created the necessary momentum to advance our calls for financial relief. I’m not sure our licensed assisted living providers would have had access to the much-needed Provider Relief Funds but for the early leadership and support of Senator Lankford.”


ASHA represents more than 500 companies involved in the finance, development and operation of the full spectrum of housing and services for seniors—including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and continuing care (or life plan) communities. ASHA primarily focuses on legislative and regulatory advocacy, research, and educational opportunities and networking for senior living executives.


Lankford has been a continuous voice to secure funding, personal protective equipment, and support to keep senior communities, residents, and staff safe. Earlier this year, he supported emergency relief to provide over $100 billion for hospitals and other healthcare providers. In April, he led a bipartisan letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) advocating for senior communities and their healthcare workers to have access to the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) created by the CARES Act. Subsequently, in September, HHS announced that Assisted Living Facilities would be able to apply for funds in the PRF to assist with their frontline care.